Is the driver next to you drunk or just drowsy?

You never know who is driving the vehicles around you as you travel Tennessee's roadways. The person driving the next vehicle might diligently pay attention or not. You have no way of knowing.

Then again, some driving behaviors at least alert you to the fact that something just isn't right with the driver. Swerving, speeding, abruptly changing lanes and more could give you pause and reason to attempt to get away from that vehicle. In fact, you might speculate that the driver is drunk, but you could be wrong.

Are you sure that driver is drunk?

A scary one-third of drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel at some point. Around 60% drive even though they suffer from fatigue. Many people fail to realize that driving while drowsy causes many them to exhibit many of the same driving behaviors as those who drink and drive. You may be among the many people who don't readily realize that driving while drowsy puts the lives of everyone on the road in danger.

Would you be surprised to know that if you stayed awake for 24 hours and then get behind the wheel, your body acts as if you have a blood alcohol content of 0.10%? Research shows this to be true. Staying awake for 18 hours does drop that BAC equivalent but only to 0.05%. Your decision-making processes and your ability to pay attention to the road suffer greatly.

What should alert you to this danger?

You know your body better than anyone else, but the following signs often indicate that you may be too drowsy to drive:

  • Heavy eyelids
  • Failure to remember the last few miles
  • Constant yawning
  • Trouble focusing
  • Drifting out of your lane
  • Head bobbing

You may want to pull over and nap or have a cup of coffee. If you have a passenger with a valid driver's license, switching drivers could get you to your destination safely. Even when you act responsibly if drowsy, another driver may not. If you suffer injuries as a result of an accident involving a drowsy driver, you could incur medical expenses, lost income and other damages.

Under Tennessee law, you may be able to pursue compensation from the party authorities believe caused them. Gaining information on personal injury claims may be wise.

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The Hurley Law Firm

The Hurley Law Firm, P.C.
205 Mohican Street
Knoxville, TN 37919

Phone: 865-888-5472
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